Analytical evaluation of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays, with particular attention to imprecision, interferences and matrix effects, at normal cTn concentrations, is of utmost importance as many different clinical algorithms use concentration cutoffs <10 ng/L for decision-making. The objective for the present analytical study was to compare the new Beckman Coulter hs-cTnI assay (Access hsTnI) to Abbott’s hs-cTnI assay in different matrices and for different interferences, with a focus on concentrations <10 ng/L.
The limit of blank (LoB) and the limit of detection (LoD) were determined in different matrices for the Beckman hs-cTnI assay. Passing-Bablok regression and difference plots were determined for 200 matched lithium heparin and EDTA plasma samples for the Beckman assay and 200 lithium heparin samples for the Abbott assay. Both EDTA and heparin plasma samples were also evaluated for stability under refrigerated conditions, for endogenous alkaline phosphatase interference and for hemolysis and icterus.
The Beckman hs-cTnI assay LoB was 0.5 ng/L with the following range of LoDs=0.8–1.2 ng/L, with EDTA plasma yielding lower concentrations as compared to lithium heparin plasma (mean difference=−14.9%; 95% CI=−16.9 to 12.9). Below 10 ng/L, lithium heparin cTnI results from the Beckman assay were on average 1.1 ng/L (95% CI=0.7 to 1.5) higher than the Abbott results, with no difference between the methods when using EDTA plasma (mean difference =−0.1 ng/L; 95% CI=−0.3 to 0.2). Low cTnI concentrations were less effected by interferences in EDTA plasma.
The Access hsTnI method can reliably detect normal cTnI concentrations with both lithium heparin and EDTA plasma being suitable matrices.